Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.06 Soil-Scientific Characteristic Values (Edition 2009)

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01.06.2 Utilizable Capillary Capacity of Flate Root Plants


Utilizable capillary capacity (nFK) is quantity of water in l/m² or mm which soil can carry and is usable for plants.This kind of water stays in pores of soil due to the binding capacity and plants can use it. nFK depends on type of soil humus content, compaction and stone contents. Fine soil can store more water than coarse soil, water seep away quickly in coarse soil therefore plants cannot use it. High humus contents and peat shares increases water storage.


nFK values of soil asssociations and soil types were taken from profile section drawings by Grenzius (1987). There are two types of zones: flate root zone (0-3 dm) and deep root zone (0-15 dm). ). Minimum and Maximum value of nFK for flate root zone are defined by soil type of soil association, who shows the highest and lowest nFK values. Additionaly typical nFK value is determined for respective rootzones. In this map only the typical value of flate root zone is given.

Detailed research of Soil Associations on eastern part of Berlin based on geology was carried out by Aey (1993).

In 2005 nFK-values indicated by Grenzius (1987)) were also slighltly distinguished and further corrected. Results were summarized in six levels (Tab. 1) by Grenzius (1987)). None of these levels were in Soil-Scientific Mapping Directive (1994).

Table 1: Utilizable Capillary Capacity for Flate and deepzone in (mm) and their evaluation
nFK [mm] nFK Level
flate root zone
(0 - 3 dm)
deep root zone
(0 - 15 dm)
<20 <60  1  very low
20 - <40 60 - <120 2 low
40 - <60 120 - <180 3 medium
60 - <80 180 - <240 4 moderate high
80 - <110 240 - <320 5 high
≥110 ≥320 6 very high
Table 1: Utilizable Capillary Capacity for Flate and Deepzone in (mm)
and their Evaluation (according to Grenzius (1987))

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